St. Louis Public Radio News
12:43 pm
Mon September 20, 2010

Earnings tax to remain on ballot

Jefferson City, MO – A Cole County judge has refused to remove from the November ballot a measure that could force St. Louis and Kansas City to vote on their earnings taxes.

Attorneys for the city of Kansas City sued in August, saying the measure violates the state Constitution by dealing with more than one subject, and illegally changes Kansas City's charter at the state level.

In a brief three-page order, circuit judge Jon Beetem rejected both arguments. Any other legal issues, he said, would have to be addressed after the November election.

If voters approve Proposition A, no other cities would be allowed to levy earnings taxes. Voters in Kansas City and St. Louis would have to vote every five years on whether to keep their earnings taxes, which generates about a third of the revenue for each city.

St. Louis mayor Francis Slay has all but conceded the November election, saying he will fight to keep the tax in April 2011. A major campaign donor of Slay's, libertarian billionaire Rex Sinquefield, is behind Proposition A as well.

>> Original order document (PDF)